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Kenan Institute 2023 Grand Challenge: Workforce Disrupted
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Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues

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Students from UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, in partnership with UNC's Program for Public Discourse, will gather to address the opportunities and risks of an environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG)-centered approach to financial decision-making.

For our 2022 grand challenge, the Kenan Institute made the ambitious commitment to explore stakeholder capitalism and ESG investing – complex topics that have required the engagement of our global network of experts to unpack.

Andra Ghent, Professor of Finance at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business, discusses the current state of housing affordability in an era of high interest rates.

COVID-19 sent shockwaves through the global economic system, disrupting financial markets, slowing productivity and exacerbating existing inequities. But its unprecedented impact on the labor market may serve as the pandemic’s most enduring economic effect. From quiet quitting to the Great Resignation, the past three years have seen a massive transformation in what workers expect from their jobs.

Research from UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Assistant Professor of Finance Abhinav Gupta demonstrates how a seemingly small change in the green-card application process holds tremendous significance for millions in the tech industry, made even more relevant by the sector’s current slowdown.

The Kenan Institute recaps a panel on the business of women's health from the Center for Business of Health's November 2022 conference.

A daunting tangle of problems defines the global energy space as 2022 winds down. On the one hand, the war in the Ukraine combined with curtailed Russian oil/gas supplies into Europe has reminded many that unfriendly energy suppliers can also deliver inflation and hardship to their customers. On another side, efforts to increase oil/gas supplies both in Europe and globally, face stout resistance to anything that might further entrench hydrocarbons into national economies. Inflation is prompting monetary policies to tighten even as fiscal indiscipline continues via historically high government deficit spending. Concerns over climate change remain an article of faith among leaders of many countries. Other voices decry the folly of calls to suppress oil/gas production when greener alternatives are not ready to replace them. Electorates seem both confused and restless. The risk that they vote in leaders less insistent on decarbonizing economies is palpable.

In a Financial Times article on paying executives in the age of stakeholder capitalism, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Professor Camelia Kuhnen notes that performance-related compensation packages can have negative consequences.

The new report from the Kenan Institute's American Growth Project takes a look under the hood at productivity - and which U.S. cities have been climbing up the productivity rankings.

As major health systems continue to merge, one of the main questions for commentators and researchers concerns the somewhat vague idea of community benefit. The Atrium Health–Advocate merger is set to provide approximately $5 billion in annual community benefit, targeted to aid vulnerable communities and individuals. Community benefit can be understood as any action, investment or program provided by a tax-exempt hospital or health system that promotes the health and wellness of the community they serve. In addition to community benefit, Advocate Health described a $2 billion pledge to disrupt the root causes of health inequities across the rural and urban communities it serves.

Join the Leonard W. Wood Center for Real Estate Studies for the 2022 UNC Affordable Housing Symposium on Friday, Dec. 2, 2022 at the Rizzo Center. Industry and academic experts will explore how the Triangle can prepare for the future.

Moving to a clean economy will require innovation across the board, said MIT Sloan School of Management’s Jacquelyn Pless, a Kenan Institute Distinguished Fellow, but it shouldn’t be presumed that environmental policy and the economy are at odds.